December 30, 2009

Spartan offense striving for balance

SAN ANTONIO - Before the bombshell broke that Texas Tech coach Mike Leach had been fired, Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell and players Kirk Cousins, Joel Nitchman, and Blair White met with members of the media to discuss their ongoing preparation for the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl.

Senior White and Nitchman reflected on playing in their last game as a Spartans.

"It's pretty emotional," White said. "It's going to be my last game. We have come a long way as a team. We might not have had the year we set our goals on, but we have a chance to win a bowl game. I'm just excited to get out there one last time and compete. It's a great bowl game. There are going to be a lot of people watching and it should be fun."

Not only is White playing in his final game, but he is also prepping for a game in which his success on the field is paramount in the absence of suspended wideouts Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham.

"If you want to call it pressure, you can go ahead and call it that," White said. "I'm just excited to go out and make as many plays as I can. We just really want to get this last win because there have been a lot of negatives and we're excited to bring something positive to the program and get a win."

While White and Nitchman are playing in their final game, Cousins is preparing for his first start in a bowl game.

Cousins' coordinator believes that the key to Michigan State's success on offense is staying balanced. Rather than go overboard with new offensive wrinkles, Treadewll wants to perfect the current play package.
The veteran coordinator does have a few new wrinkles in his offense, but did not elaborate on them.

"If anything we have restrained ourselves in trying not to have too much offense in," Treadwell said. "We have to keep it streamlined within reason to make sure these young men can take advantage of what we're trying to do."

Treadwell reiterated the need to stay balanced on offense and maintain possession against an explosive, high-scoring team like Texas Tech.

"It would be to our advantage to run the ball and run some clock," Treadwell said. "But we won't handcuff ourselves, either."

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